By JOEL DEANE
Social progress, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
For instance, we like to think that Australia is less racist than it was. Considering the heritage of terra nullius and the White Australia policy, there is some validity to that belief; after all, the Federation of Australia may have been founded on notions of egalitarianism and racism, but racism has since been superseded by multiculturalism. Still, none of that would have mattered to the four Indigenous Australians left standing by the side of the road by four taxis last week in Melbourne because of the colour of their skin.
The same applies to disabilities. We like to think that times have changed, that the institutions have been closed and people with a disabilities are no longer locked away from the world, but the truth is some are still living in institutions and hundreds of thousands are shut out of mainstream Australian life – treated as second-class citizens because they have a disability.